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The Self-Portrait Photography Studio 8-week Challenge Starts Soon

Explore who you are, and who you might be, with self-portrait photography. Photographer Lisa Haukom shares how the Self Portrait Studio, new type of self expression community was founded, her no selfies allowed policy, and how to join the next 8-week Self Portrait Challenge.


Self Portrait Studio Founder and Photographer Lisa Haukom

The Concept: What is the Self-Portrait Studio?

What previously started out as a small course called Confidence on Camera has emerged into a beautiful educational membership helping women learn to love, heal, and accept themselves through the art of self-portrait photography. The Self Portrait Studio is here to help you find acceptance and fulfillment through the art of self-portraiture — no photography experience necessary.

Really at it’s core, the Self Portrait Studio is a simple shift in the way we view ourselves. It’s a shift from “Am I?” to “I Am." In the beginning members may question themselves, “Am I allowed to do this for myself? “Am worth of a self-portrait?” To, "I am." “I am worthy of spending this time with myself." "I am allowed to see myself in this new way”. "I am allowed to accept myself, exactly as I am."

The Origins: How it Started

The Self Portrait Studio started with me. This was a project I did on my own in an effort to feel connected to the woman I saw in photos. I was tired of feeling incomplete, like I didn't quite belong anywhere. I spent my whole life people pleasing, walking on eggshells, putting others needs above my own. So I bought a tripod and committed to sitting for a self portrait every day for 30 days.

"What surprised me most is how quickly I became confident and comfortable behind and in front of the camera. Before I joined the Self Portrait Studio, I wasn’t comfortable looking at the camera. I was more of a look to the side or look away person. Now, I say, “BRING IT”! I’m far more focused on the creative process, and what I’m trying to capture and convey with the image."

— Michel VanDevender

It started out a little lonely, in my bedroom, with a tripod and a camera. At first I didn’t tell my family what I was doing. I felt so ashamed and fearful of being judged by them, by you, but mostly myself. Sitting with myself in this way felt so exposed, vulnerable. I wasn't taking these pictures for anyone else, they were for myself. As the month progressed, I felt less resistance to the photos of myself and less critical of my own image. Not the version for everyone else, daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend. Just me. Just Lisa. Now I have the privilege and joy of watching members bloom and grow through their self portrait journeys.

Who is the Self Portrait Studio For?

The membership is for those who pick themselves apart, photo after photo. It's for those who can’t post a picture without opening FaceTune, those who struggle to connect who they see in the mirror with who they see on their screen women who believe they’ll never be photogenic and those who avoid the camera (and the hard feelings that come with it).

We know it's tough to get in front of the camera. Some may even find it triggering, but it’s worth the discomfort. Why? Self portraiture is a powerful exercise to see yourself in a new way–the first step toward a new, healthy relationship with your face, your body, and your spirit.

Until now, your experience in front of the camera has likely been limited: It’s not easy to feel at ease with a professional photographer. There’s the crush of vulnerability coupled with the pressure to perform (you only booked an hour long session, after all). Still, you expect to do well and look your best–and when you don’t, you blame yourself. We’ve all experienced that same internal dialogue: Not photogenic enough, not thin enough, not radiant enough, not relaxed enough, not happy enough…not worthy.

The Self Portrait Studio is here to help find perspective and ease in front of the camera so you can connect with your image and ultimately, yourself. Through accountability, coaching, and community, you will use self portraiture to remember your inherent worth and see yourself the way we do: Beautiful, genuine, and enough.

"I love the membership! Lisa has an incredible ability to connect with amazing women and curate a space that feels like a safe and loving community, yet is also expansive and creative. She also sees people deeply, beyond the surface. She sees their truth, their beauty, and their potential. " — Kelly McIntee

What is the 8-week Challenge?

First you should know we do things differently in the Self Portrait Studio, starting with a strict, no selfies allowed policy. We use the back camera lens only for our self portraits. You'll learn why this is crucial as we move through the 8-week Challenge together. Inside the Self Portrait Studio you'll have access to a private community, weekly live calls with Lisa where you'll share your self portraits and receive live feedback on pose, lighting, concept, and editing — no photography experience necessary.

Here's what you'll need to get started:

A tripod

A mobile phone

Natural light

Lightroom mobile (free version)

A sense of adventure and curiosity

Self Portrait Studio Founder and Photographer Lisa Haukom

The schedule for our next Self Portrait Challenge.

February 2nd-March 2nd: Self Portrait Course with supplemental material not included in the course, Live with Lisa Thursday's 9am pst.

Module 1: Guidelines, Intention, Tech

Module 2: Understand psychology of the mirrored lens, Asymmetry

Module 3: Inspiration, Resources, Mood Board, Styling & FAQ’s

Module 4: Practice (first SP session on your own), Light, Angles, Location

Module 5: Post Production, Lightroom, Editing Images, Selecting Images, Tone

Bonus Content: Professional Photography Shooting & Editing Tips

February 23 — April 20: 8-week photo Challenge. Weekly creative prompts, curated by Lisa, to hone and expand your self portrait photography skills. Weekly calls with Lisa to view and receive live feedback on your images.

"The Self-Portrait Studio is a special place. Over the years I’ve been in many groups for business and development, creative classes, personal development etc. I have never been with such warm, encouraging, supportive and inspiring women. That is most definitely a reflection on you and the people you attract Lisa. I’m looking forward to learning and growing more with all of you."

Nancy Wallis

The Results.

Self-portraits are an excellent way to evolve your self perception and trust me when I say that the post self portrait session glow is very real. Each time I wrap a session and sit down to look at the photos, I see myself in an entirely new way, with both increased compassion and satisfaction. It brings me so much joy to carve out this time for myself and bring a creative story to life through photography.

Our members feel the same way and are sharing every step of their self-portrait journey with you. I highly recommend you read through their stories if you are curious about joining the Studio. I know one of them will resonate with you.

Just the Beginning.

A visual benchmark.

Self portraits are a fantastic visual benchmark of your progress. A quick flip through previous sessions will show how much you have evolved creatively in a short period of time. We always cap off our 8-week challenges by revisiting the first prompt in the series. Members continue to be astounded by the quick evolution of their personal editing, confidence, and style in that short period of time.

Creative ideas are flowing.

Self Portraits are an opportunity to get comfortable in front of the lens and explore my creativity in ways I hadn't before. It is so freeing to create on your own schedule with no expectations or money from clients on the line. You can take as long as you want, shoot whatever you'd like, and experiment with new ideas daily.

There is no one to impress but yourself.

SPS members are encouraged to share images they feel are unsuccessful along with the ones they feel most proud of. Both offer an opportunity to expand our perception of what a successful image needs to look like. We learn why we prefer certain images over others and that success doesn't mean perfect. When the only restriction is that you must be in the photo, you can do whatever you like and it doesn't need to be perfect. I'll see you in the Studio!

Self Portrait Studio Founder and Photographer Lisa Haukom

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